Receivers seek permission for more than 140 housing units on Dublin site

Nama-appointed receivers seek approval under rules aimed at accelerating schemes

Nama would not comment on the plans for the south Dublin site when contacted. Photograph: Alan Betson

Nama would not comment on the plans for the south Dublin site when contacted. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Receivers are seeking permission to build more than 140 dwellings on a site once linked to developer brothers Michael and Martin Doran of Ellen Construction under new rules designed to accelerate housing development.

The National Asset Management Agency appointed Declan Taite and Anne O’Dwyer, of insolvency specialist Duff & Phelps, as receivers to property belonging to the Dorans in Kilternan, south Dublin, in 2012, three years after their company, Ellen Construction, was wound up.

Mr Taite and Ms O’Dwyer have applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission to build 98 houses and 43 apartments on the site under the strategic housing development rules, which could see the project win approval by the middle of May.

The land is between the Glenamuck and Kilternan roads in a part of south Dublin already earmarked for housing development. Mr Taite and Ms O’Dwyer intend building three- and four-bedroom homes, one- and two-bedroom apartments and a creche.

They are also pledging to build roads into the proposed housing estate and to upgrade a nearby junction in line with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s plan for the area.

Nama would not comment on the plans when contacted. The agency finances house-building on properties controlled by its receivers or owned by its borrowers.

Planning permission

It is understood that the agency would decide whether or not to back this project only if it succeeds in getting planning permission. Nama would have other options, including selling the site, should this happen.

The receivers aim to maximise the property’s value and are acting independently of Nama.

The planning rules allow anyone planning to build 100 homes or more to apply direct to An Bord Pleanála for permission after consulting the board and the relevant local council.

The board must decide whether or not it will grant permission within 16 weeks. This indicates that the Kilternan project could get the green light in May as the planning application was filed last month.

An Bord Pleanála decisions in these cases are final, but objectors can ask the courts to review them. The law allows the board to grant the permission sought, modify the plans or refuse to allow them go ahead.

The rules are part of the Government’s efforts to tackle the Republic’s housing crisis and are meant to streamline planning for bigger projects. They came into force last year after the Oireachtas passed the legislation in late 2016.

A number of builders, including Marlet and the listed Cairn Homes, have applied for planning permission under the system. Some in the industry argue that the rules should be extended to include developments of fewer than 100 homes.

Ellen Construction was an early victim of the crash that followed the collapse of the Republic’s property and building industries a decade ago.

The Wexford-based company went into liquidation in late 2009 with the loss of about 70 jobs. The company owed €30 million to Ulster Bank. The Dorans founded the business in 1995.

Ellen Construction and the Dorans had been active developers in the period before the crash.

The company built Bewley’s hotels in Ballsbridge, Leopardstown and Manchester, and the Winter Gardens apartments in Pearse Street, Dublin, among other projects.

Nama appointed its receivers on foot of debts due from the Doran brothers that were secured against the Kilternan property. Neither Mr Taite nor Ms O’Dwyer were available to comment.